New year, new resolutions! When you are looking for a job, it is good to be reminded of some basic principles to put the odds on your side. CVs, interviews, networking… we aren’t neglecting any aspects in 2015!
- Update your resume and customize it for each open position.
- Improve your resume’s visual aspect. Original CV examples abound on the Web and could well inspire you! The goal remains to get the message through while standing out from the tons of other resumes that land on an employer's desk.
- Take the time to customize each letter.
- Ensure that the cover letter complements the CV, and is not mere repetition.
- Take part in networking events with graduates of your school, get to know your professional order or contact former colleagues. People who roughly have the same body of knowledge as you might inspire you.
- Never say no to an opportunity to meet new circles of people, even if their relationship with your own job is low. You never know where a meeting can take you! For example, accompany your significant other or friends to their happy hours with their colleagues.
- Keep in touch with people you have met at networking activities.
- Consult professionals. Each university guidance counsellors provide services to the public at reasonable prices. For example, the career centre at the University of Quebec in Montreal: https://programmes-carrierologie.uqam.ca/clinique-carriere.html
- Get information from universities and colleges where job offers arrive by the tons. There is a wealth of documentation in connection to employment opportunities.
- 10. Check newspapers and websites. For jobs available online, you can facilitate your search by aggregating all the interesting job sites into your favourites in any given search engine. And keep track of them everyday.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Why not find out about job opportunities abroad, whether for an organization like CUSO International, OXFAM or even the UN (https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx)? The Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (OJIQ) also offer a host of paid internship opportunities in various fields. If you have no taste or patience for this kind of project, visiting the OJIQ could still give you ideas. Do not forget that France and Quebec, for example, have cultural links and employment opportunities may abound.
Improve your interview techniques. In other words, get prepared for the interview. Here are some ideas:
- Read and reread news and press releases about the company. You will be able to add spark to the discussion on the company's successes.
- Know the industry and its major competitors. You will be better able to say why you want to work for them rather than for their direct competitors.
- Educate yourself on the job you will have: Tasks that will be assigned to you, who will be your direct superior, what qualities are required, etc.
- Contact the company that interests you. Although no post seems open, showing interest by calling human resources or attempting to talk to employees allows you to stand out.
- Keep track of delivered applications.
- Finally, keep an open mind. A job may seem daunting at first, but it can also be a stepping stone to great opportunities once you get there.